What is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack is a sudden and acute episode of coronary thrombosis, a situation in which blood flow to the heart is blocked. During a heart attack, one of the coronary arteries is partly or totally blocked. The attack results in the death of part of the heart muscle, since some of the tissue is cut off from oxygen. Heart tissue death begins within seconds after oxygen is withdrawn.
What Causes Heart Attack?
A heart attack is typically caused when a blood clot flows from elsewhere in the body into the heart or when ruptured arterial plaque in the heart itself causes a clot to build up. A blood clot can occur at any time, although risk factors such as age, weight, and conditions like diabetes make them more likely.
Ways to Avoid a Heart Attack
Avoiding a heart attack is a lifelong endeavor. Those with a family history of heart attacks should be careful to take steps to mitigate the risk from early in life. Although heart attacks become more likely with age, they are not inevitable.
Maintaining a strong cardiovascular system through regular exercise, a diet high in green vegetables, and healthy weight maintenance is a major factor in curbing heart attack risk. Blood sugar should be monitored to address the risk of diabetes, which can contribute to cardiovascular damage.
Heart disease is a condition directly related to heart attack risk. It develops when plaque builds up on the inside of coronary arteries. This plaque narrows the arteries and makes the heart less efficient. Not only must it work harder, but a blockage leading to heart attack is more likely. Those at high risk often benefit from medication.
If you believe you are suffering a heart attack, it’s essential to chew aspirin right away. This disrupts the function of the platelets that cause blood to clot It only takes a small amount of aspirin to completely inhibit all of the platelets in the body.
Aspirin will not stop a heart attack, but may significantly limit the damage. A single 325-milligram tablet without coating is the most effective choice.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
The most recognizable symptoms of a heart attack include pain in the chest, lightheadedness, nausea, and vomiting. Pain may also be experienced in the jaw, neck, or back, as well as in the right arm or right shoulder. Shortness of breath is also common.
Symptoms of a heart attack can vary significantly according to the patient’s gender.
During a heart attack, chest pain or discomfort is common among both genders. Women are more likely than men to encounter shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and pain centered in the back or the jaw. They may experience a cold sweat or lightheadedness.
Heart attack signs can be subtle, and patients should be aware that the pressure, fullness, or pain in the chest may “come and go.” Men commonly describe the feeling as “an elephant sitting on the chest,” but women sometimes have heart attacks with no noticeable chest pressure.
Emergency medical care should be sought right away for any suspected heart attack. If possible, the sufferer should chew aspirin immediately upon realizing symptoms. The rule of thumb: If symptoms are severe enough to remind you to take aspirin, you need help right away.
To learn more about heart attack prevention, schedule an appointment with Heart Vein NYC.